Helping Prevent Diaper Rash
The term “diaper rash” describes a wide range of reddish or inflammatory reactions on the skin in the area covered by diapers. Most diaper-wearing children experience it at one time or another. Secondary infections (often referred to as yeast infections) can also occur when the skin has been damaged by a diaper rash. Today’s disposable diapers are designed to help maintain healthy skin by quickly capturing urine and locking it away deep inside the diaper where it will not contact baby’s skin or mix with feces.
What Causes Diaper Rash?
A number of factors can make healthy skin susceptible to diaper rash. Learn more about these factors.
Modern Diapers Cause Less Diaper Rash
Over the last 15 years, consistent improvements in disposable diaper design and materials have reduced the severity and frequency of diaper rash. Learn how.
What Causes Diaper Rash?
A number of factors can make healthy skin susceptible to diaper rash, as shown in the chart below:
There are three important factors in the development of diaper rash:
- Wetness – Prolonged wetness can lead to overly hydrated skin. This causes the skin to be more susceptible to abrasion and chafing.
- Increased pH – Bacteria on the skin can break down urea in urine to ammonia which can increase the skin pH. Normally, the pH of skin is slightly acidic and ranges from approximately 4.5 to 6.0.
- Damage from fecal enzymes – Increased skin pH activates enzymes that attack the skin. If the skin is also wet, it will be even more vulnerable.
Modern Materials Cause Less Diaper Rash
Over the last 15 years, consistent improvements in disposable diaper design and materials have reduced the severity and frequency of diaper rash.
Clinical studies show that babies in modern disposable diapers have drier skin, more stable skin pH and less diaper rash. Additional studies of children with naturally dry or sensitive skin and of children in day care verify the skin care benefits of disposable diapers.
Research Shows Other Diaper Features Keep Skin Healthy
Some disposable diapers are made with breathable, microporous outer covers to aid in reducing humidity inside the diapers. A series of double-blind clinical studies found that children wearing highly breathable disposable diapers experienced significantly less diaper rash compared to those with non-breathable diapers. Secondary infections were reduced by up to 50% in these children.